The use of recombinant human growth hormone for the treatment of growth failure has increased over the past decades. However, it is speculated that it might increase the risk of mortality in the long term. This study’s objective is to evaluate the long-term effects of recombinant growth hormone on mortality in young patients.
This is a cohort study conducted in eight European countries: the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland. The study included 24,232 patients treated with recombinant human growth hormone during childhood. The participants were grouped based on mortality risk from their underlying disease and their cause-specific mortality.
The researchers found that in low-risk patients with a growth hormone deficiency, the risk of all-cause mortality did not increase significantly. However, in children born small for gestational age (GA), the risk of mortality was increased considerably. In patients at moderate-high risk, there was a considerable increase in all-cause mortality. Still, the risk was not associated with the doses of recombinant growth hormone in any risk group.
The research concluded that all-cause mortality in patients who received recombinant growth hormone was associated with the underlying diagnosis. The risk of all-cause mortality was not related to recombinant growth hormone treatment.